Liberal Left held a successful launch meeting at the Lib Dem Spring Conference at Gateshead with nearly 150 delegates in attendance. The speakers were: Linda Jack, Chair of Liberal Left, Professor Stephen Haseler, Professor Richard Grayson and Dr Jenny Tonge.
The meeting’s Chair Cllr Ron Beadle (PPC for Newcastle North at the last General Election) gave some context to the founding of Liberal Left with the following words:
“As Liberal Democrats everyone here shares a commitment to civil liberties, to sustainability, to internationalism and to constitutional reform. hoever our shared commitment to these values should not obscure the fact that there are Liberal Democrats on the left and Liberal Democrats on the right.
At a time when David Laws is telling an audience at the Institute for Economic Affairs that the party should emulate the FDP and when Danny Alexander argues on Newsnight that that the Coalition programme should extend beyond 2015 it is no longer credible for any of us to pretend that there is no left or right in the party.
Most colleagues on the left agreed with the decision to join the Coalition and to support it as constructive critics. We respect colleagues in the party who take this view and those who support the rightward direction the party has taken but we would like these colleagues to accept that there are Liberal Democrats who disagree.
Those who diasgree have only three options. First to join the many thousnands who have already left the party. Second, to keep our heads down. Or third, as we are doing, to attempt to set out an alternative.”